NEWARK, NJ – The following press release has been kindly provided by the United Community Corporation. Learn more about posting announcements or events on your local patch site.

United Community Corporation, Roosevelt Community 4U, and Bessie Green Community Inc. have teamed up for the third time this summer to host a massive free food distribution event for the city of Newark.

The event will be held at Barringer High School (90 Parker Street, Newark, NJ 07104) on Sunday, August 30th, from 2pm to 5pm

The three nonprofits have partnered with Alderman Anibal Ramos Jr., Newark Public Schools, and The Allen Village CDC for this special food drive that distributes both perishable and non-perishable food, drink, and protein to people in need.

“The only thing that has made all of our organizations a perfect fit is that we are all focused on helping the community,” said Craig Mainor, executive director of United Community Corporation. “There were no egos involved. We all have the same goal of caring for the city of Newark.”

Cars should enter the Barringer High School parking lot through the Parker Street entrance on Park Avenue for driveway distribution. Walk-in customers are also welcome. Face covering is required for all attendees.

Barringer High is the city’s third venue. It previously took place in West Side Park and most recently in Edison Place parking lot. Edison Place Distribution looked after 4,917 vehicles and 421 walk-up customers. A total of 21,352 meals were served.

And giving is just beginning.

United Community Corporation, Roosevelt Community 4U and Bessie Green Community plan to continue food distribution events across Newark to reach as many populations in need as possible.

“We live in the United States and we believe that all communities should be united not just now but year round,” said Rabbi Moshe Hezrony, who founded the Roosevelt Community 4U in Monmouth County. “Next month is the Jewish New Year. We want to bless everyone with a happy, healthy, and united year.”

Such sales events provide United Community Corporation, which has been with Newark since 1964, an important opportunity to speak with customers about the many important services it offers. These include a 24-hour emergency shelter, a pantry that served over 20,000 meals in July alone, housing / rental / energy support and youth development programs.

“It’s almost like a domino effect,” said Mainor. “We help people with food needs with the distribution. Then we can introduce ourselves or re-introduce ourselves to them and let them know about other services that could potentially help them meet more of their needs.”

Many people in Newark desperately need these services.

COVID-19 hit Essex County hard, with over 20,000 cases – making it the second worst county in New Jersey. At the height of the pandemic, Essex County’s unemployment rate rose from 4.60 percent in March to 16.80 percent in April. In 2019 Essex County had 2,235 homeless people, of whom nearly 2,000 lived in Newark. Due to the economic impact of the coronavirus, that already staggering number is at serious risk, with an estimated 78 percent of the city’s residents renting.

“A lot of the people who come to the distributions are people who have not come to us in the past,” Mainor said. “These new customers may never have been a nonprofit and we are their first contact with one. We are here to take people out of desperation and give them some kind of hope in their lives. That is the most important thing to us.”

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